Whether you are an avid cook looking for some new inspiration, or a novice just stepping into the kitchen for the first time, having quick and easy access to inspiring recipes is a necessity. While I will never let go of the bliss of pulling a cookbook off the shelf, plopping down at the table and fingering through the dog-eared, food-splattered pages, I have begun to explore the online frontier of foodie resources with the hope of perhaps quenching my insatiable appetite for new material (and perhaps easing my cookbook addiction a bit – I’m running out of room!). Maybe the internet isn’t quite as intimate as a well worn book, but it does have some wonderful stuff popping up. So in the name of easy accessibility and things that are free, I wanted to share some of my favorite internet recipe resources with you, and encourage everyone to put on your apron and get into the kitchen. There is no better way to participate in your own well-being than to actively engage in the preparation of your own food. It is an inspiring, creative and even spiritual endeavor that will only leave you healthier and happier (amount of time spent in the kitchen is inversely related to obesity, research has shown). As my good friend Lori says, cooking is the best act of self love there is!
So here are my favorite links, do check them out and see where your fancy takes you:
Recipes from Jamie Oliver : The recipe data-base of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. While he might seem a little cheesy, his mission to make cooking doable and accessible for everyone makes his lesser qualities tolerable. The website provides a wide variety of excellent recipes that utilize whole foods and emphasize seasonality. He has also been instrumental in banning junk food from school lunches in the UK!
101cookbooks.com: The recipe journal of photographer and cookbookaholic Heidi Swanson. Recipes are vegetarian, utilize whole food ingredients, and are accompanied by lovely pictures and charming commentary. She has won the Food Blog of the Year Award two times, and her coobook, Super Natural Cooking, has won the James Beard Foundation Award. You can also sign up to receive email alerts whenever she posts a new recipe.
Culinate: An e-magazine dedicated to “helping you eat to your ideal”, complete with articles, columns written by a variety of excellent slow-food chefs, cooking tips, food news, and simple, straightforward recipes featuring seasonal ingredients. Sign up and create a members page, where you can compile your favorite recipes and trade tips and recipes with other foodie minded people.
Body and Soul’s Eat Well Directory: The recipe database of Body and Soul magazine, dedicated to promoting nutritious and inspiring food ideas. If you are a visually oriented person like me, you will love the delicious photographs that accompany the recipes. Most recipes are compiled by themes – seasonal foods, power foods, quick recipes, etc and are scattered with valuable articles ranging from buffering stress with food to building bones. Most recipes are accompanied with great nutritional information to pump you up about the health benefits of the foods you are preparing.
Chocolate and Zucchini: Food blog of Parisian Clotilde Dusoulier, who, “shares her passion for all things food-related — thoughts, recipes, musings, cookbook acquisitions, quirky ingredients, nifty tools, restaurant experiences, ideas, and inspirations.” True to French cooking, there is an entire section dedicated to chocolate – but of course!
The River Cottage: Self described as a “website about food, where it comes from, and why that matters,” this is the website of a project that began as one man’s mission to grow and rear some of his own food that has since grown into a tremendous educational organization with classes, a television series and numerous books. The recipes are organized by season, but will soon be browse-able by ingredient. They are quintessentially and traditionally English – hedgerow jams, delicious custards, seafood and use the whole animal style cooking. These recipes are great for the wild-crafting enthusiast and those of you who have always wanted to know how to make Yorkshire pudding and Welsh rarebit.
Orangette: The blog of Molly Wizenburg, described by the UK Times as the “ultimate food lovers’ blog.” Recipes are delicious, inspiring and blend into the prose of her daily doings, adventures and pondering in a way that makes you feel the connection between spirit and food. Highly recommended.
So granted, that is only a tasting of all the great websites and blogs that are probably out there – but these are the ones I find myself visiting the most often. I subscribe to many of the blogs so that when I check my homepage, I see all the new recipe posts and remind myself daily about the creative adventures awaiting me in the kitchen. If you have your own favorites, please feel free to share them here – I’m always eager to expand my culinary horizons.